Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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GOURD, adj., v. Also goord, gord, †gurd. [gu:rd]

I. adj. Stiff; hence, difficult to open, as “the sash of a window, when it will not move” (Lth., Cld. 1825 Jam.), “a door, rusted, its hinges creaked for want of oil” (Rnf. 1837 Crawfurd MSS. XI. 310); “not slippery; applied to ice” (Cld. 1825 Jam.). Ayr. 1833 J. Kennedy Geordie Chalmers 213:
Like curlin' stanes takin' an inwick at the tee, on a rink o' goord ice.
Rnf. 1870 J. Nicholson Idylls 35:
Ance ye [penknife] wad open wi' a click, But noo ye're grown as gourd's a stick.

Deriv. gourdness, 1. stiffness (Cld. 1825 Jam.); 2. “want of slipperiness” (Ib.).

II. v. Of water: to become pent up, to swell up through being obstructed or stemmed back (n.Sc. 1808 Jam., gurd; ne. Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B., gurd, rare, Rxb. 1955). Sc. 1710 T. Ruddiman Gl. to Douglas Æneis:
We say that water gourds, when it is stopped by earth, shrubs, ice or snow, etc.

Ppl.adj. gourded, 1. of water: pent up (n.Sc. 1808 Jam.; Bnff. 1952); 2. frosted, frozen, numb. 2. Lnk. c.1779 D. Graham Writings (1883) I. 165:
Some hands were swell'd on this occasion, Within the hilting of the sword, That to pull out, they seem'd full gourd.
Gall. 1824 MacTaggart Gallov. Encycl. 234:
Gorded lozens. Panes of window-glass, in the time of frost, are so termed.
n.Sc. 1904 I. Sinclair Thistle and Fleur de Lys 34:
My hands are fair gorded.

[O.Sc. has gourd, dull, heavy, from c.1420; Fr. gourd, swollen (arch.), benumbed, stiff (fig.), O.Fr. gourdir, to be or become numb.]

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"Gourd adj., v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 Jan 2022 <>



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